A Haven for Vee

Monday, February 29, 2016


My Downton Abbey thought of the week...a howl of disbelief. Apparently, I did not get the memo that the Christmas Special would not be shown until March 6. I can tell you that seeing state championship basketball on MPBN did absolutely nothing for me. If I were not a sane person, I would have thrown something at the tv.
John, bless his heart, has been doing a lot of this tidying in the kitchen. I do wish he knew how to cook more than fried cornflakes. Our choices are so limited. I feel as if I have spent a week of nibbling on toast and slurping soup. John has eaten a lot of cornflakes, fried or otherwise. Things have improved, but have a ways to go. My jaw is so tired that I feel as if I should put it into a sling. 

Thank you so much for all your sweet comments and sympathies...most of us have been in a dental predicament at one time or another. Those of you who haven't are surely blessed. ☺

Have a blessed extra day today! What are you going to do with it?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Puds

This probably goes without saying, but dental pain is the puds. So many have been asking about me and my being under the weather, hence this post.

* tooth began aching last Thursday
* jaw began swelling on Sunday
* called dentist and he said that I would need to be on antibiotics for ten days before he could help
* daughter took me to my doctor nurse practitioner Monday afternoon (Obamacare for ya)
* now on antibiotics for ten days

I know that Naproxen works well for dental pain; however, I am allergic to it. I tried all the usual remedies including Thieves, oil of cloves, peppermint, and vanilla. Sometimes they help. They did not in my case.

Riding to the dentist, I was chatting a bit with my daughter and sharing my concerns. I am so glad that she and my son have had excellent dental health benefiting from fluoride and regular dental visits. My sister and I, on the other hand, have been working hard to keep our teeth. I told Laurel that I have been feeling very self-conscious about my teeth for a long time and that it actually prevents me from smiling and being myself. She said, "But, Mom, sometimes the most beautiful smile comes from a person with no teeth." 

What?! Well she made me laugh and she may have a point. 

In the meantime, I look a lot like this...

and I can prove it!

Thank you so much for praying for me. I'll be glad when I can say that all this is a thing of the past.

My apologies for any strange comments you have been receiving from me. I claim this: I have not been myself. ☺

See you next week!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Of Dollies and Such

First allow me to apologize for discussing Shirley again so soon. I've been under the weather and my thinking abilities are failing me. This should teach me to have a post or two at the ready for such eventualities.

This product is what I am trying for making the fussy, fiddly clothes. It helps some, though I think that there has to be an easier way!

This is a photo of Shirley and my mother's doll. I wrongly thought that my mother's doll was also a Shirley Temple doll. She's not, she is an Effanbee Anne-Shirley doll. So interesting. Both dolls are 15 inch dolls, but have very different body types. They will not be able to share clothes.

These are Anne-Shirley's shoes and socks. Unlikely that they are original because they are so clean. Anne-Shirley has seen better days, most specifically her mohair hairdo.

Some of Shirley's clothing is very shoddily constructed. I hope to make my dolly's clothing very easy to use with open backs and snap closures. If I get good at this, John has lots of great-grandgirlies.

This is the fabric I hope to make Shirley a simple dress with. It seems to be the right scale and I do love yellow and the dainty rosebuds.

The little cap sleeves ready to set in.

I don't know...I may have to quit this dress and start over, which reminds me of what Lord Grantham said of Edith, "I know, but for poor old Edith, who couldn't make her dolls do what she wanted! It is rather wonderful." And I do hope he is right! Edith deserves some happiness; Mary does, too; Tom does as well. Suppose that Mr. Fellowes will marry everyone off this final season?

Piglet and Friends in a pile...

I'll be back when I have some blogging fodder and am feeling better. Have a great week!

Friday, February 19, 2016

It's Still Winter and Old Projects to Show

 ~flag at half-mast~

~burlap and boughs~

It was winter weather then spring weather and it will probably go back and forth for a while. These are photos that I took after our recent snow and ice event. Then the rain came and took much of it away. Now I think that I need to bin the burlap and boughs because there is no snow to cover the beginning decay. It sure does smell heavenly, though.

 ~the light of longer days and higher angle is good~


These are two old projects that I have not shared with you before. Bet you think that I want to show you where my PW knife lives. Nah! This is all about my custom-made refrigerator topper made with painter's cloth. (It's an old lady thing.) I am not one who enjoys perpetually cleaning the top of the fridge so have always put down a towel or cloth of some sort. Trouble was that it shifted all over the place and drove me bonkers for 40 plus years of housekeeping. I am nothing if not patient. That  and a little stupid.

Finally, this idea came from somewhere, not my own head, but the actual project for my refrigerator is made up from the measurements I took. Every refrigerator is different.

Basically, one creates a topper with pockets on two sides so that magnets can be slipped in. These in turn hold down the topper about an inch from the edge of the fridge top so that it can't slip, slide away. (No, I do not do tutorials. You can figure out what I mean from pictures, I hope. If you have a question, please ask and I'll try to reply. That way, anyone can read it.)

Above you can see that the left pocket is empty and floppy because I took out the magnet to show you.

Leftover magnets from my former magnet project worked out very nicely for this refrigerator topper project.

There are many applications for this kind of project...a dryer top and a file cabinet come to mind.

This is working very well, even better than I hoped. When it was time to wash the topper, I simply removed the magnets from their pockets. No clunking and tunking through the washer and dryer that way. What do you use, if anything, on your refrigerator top?


The following project is the first one I did last summer after learning how to use the buttonhole maker on my sewing machine. It's a Pinterest project and makes good use of scraps or things that didn't quite turn out as in my log cabin design there in the middle. Still, it was too good to toss so I incorporated it into this.

All nice and tidy! I plan to make a few more because they are ever so much more attractive than cords on the loose or rubber bands (elastics for New Englanders).

And so the week comes full circle. I do love nice, tidy endings.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A New Day

It's February Messy
We have a long way to go until spring
Thought a little cheer and gratitude might help 
This photo above has been mightily edited. The video is ever so much nicer. 
Have a sweet day...

Monday, February 15, 2016

Shirley Says Hello


Yes, well, ordinarily, it would be slightly mortifying to be sitting up here on this ironing board wearing nothing but a smile (and a pair of panties that my mama made for me), but after over fifty years in a trunk, I'm glad to be anywhere!

It felt so good to have a bath and get my hair shampooed.  I cleaned up pretty well. Don't blame my mama too much for the bangs. She cut them a long, long time ago when she didn't know any better.

 My beautiful ringlets are mostly all gone now. That's why I'm sporting a pony tail.

I was made by IDEAL  between 1958 and 1963. My mama saved her allowance for a long, long time and bought me all by herself somewhere in the early 1960s. She really wanted me.

Mama's friend Diane has lots and lots of dolls and she makes them lots and lots of pretty clothes. Diane has been giving my mama ideas! That's a good thing because a little girl needs more than one dress. Mama thought I really needed some underpants first.

She found the pattern on Pinterest! She modified them a bit because I am just a little girl and not used to bikini style. What does that even mean?

There's my namesake with all her Shirley Temple dolls. They are adorable if I do say so myself. My mama also has her mama's Shirley doll, but that Shirley is so old that she can't even hold her head up anymore.  She needs some underwear and a new dress, too.

Hope that we meet again, if Mama ever does make me a new dress. I think she owes me!

P.S. Vee here with my Downton Abbey comment of the week: When Violet gets a thing right, she really gets it right. What a timely gift!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

Will try to keep it simple with wishes for a relaxing weekend and a Happy Valentine's Day!

May there be some chocolate in there somewhere!

Now if anyone needs a great and easy Valentine meal idea, I found one at Joyce's this past Wednesday. She will send you off to the blogger where she found her recipe. She also mentioned that Pinterest is loaded with recipes for Mississippi Pot Roast. Here's my modified recipe below...

a nice chuck roast with plenty of marbling
a packet of Ranch dressing
a packet of brown gravy mix
a stick of butter ☺
do NOT add water
(* There is also a secret ingredient that I did not use so you'll have to visit Joyce for that.)

My crockpot runs hot so I didn't exactly follow directions. I cooked mine on HIGH for the first hour and lowered it to LOW for the next five. 

Not the greatest photo of a pot roast meal, but it sure was delicious! John says, "It'll melt in your mouth."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Love Is...

1. Create an acrostic using the word LOVE. If you're unsure what an acrostic is click here. 

Love Is...

L ongsuffering
O ptimistic
V igilant
E ternal
2. Does love really conquer all? Why or why not?

Human love does not always, but Perfect Love does. Perfect Love=The Lord Himself

3. Tell us about a time recently, where you really put your heart into something.

I was creating a little something in my sewing room for Valentine gifts. Shhhhh...

4. What's your favorite fictional love story?

The Notebook

5. Do you generally wear your heart on your sleeve, or keep your cards close to the vest?


I can keep my cards close to the vest; it is easier to wear my heart on my sleeve as it takes less control. 

6. What food says love to you? Why?

Nearly anything my mother ever made. Why? She was my mom and a fabulous cook. 


When John brings home chocolate... ☺

7. When were you last 'tickled pink' over something? Explain.

This weekend when I learned about a new member of a friend's family...a baby girl! 

8.  Insert your own random thought here

It should be said that when I resort to the Hodge Podge, it is because I'm fresh out of thoughts. Good thing that Joyce has a few to spare!

How about a random photo instead?

Wonder how those other gals did with their acrostics. You can find out here.

Monday, February 8, 2016


It's an unassuming little photo album. There are no notations of any kind...no letting future family family members know who these people are nor the places they inhabit nor the animals they photograph. 

Here's the key. Him I recognize, even though he passed away while his daughter, my mother, was still a teenager. His name was John Parker. He was an engineer on the CPR, which is how he happened to live in Maine though he worked for a Canadian railroad.

 Here he is with a man I am assuming is his father. I know his father's name was Herbert. I know how he died and how difficult it was for his family. He had a number of daughters; my grandfather was his only son.

Nice asymmetrical coat, though I have no idea who is wearing it. Perhaps one of my grandfather's sisters, perhaps a friend, perhaps even his first wife who died young in the great flu pandemic of 1918. (Notice that smear of glue.) I am highly tempted to try lifting a photo or two from its dark black paper page just to see if there could be any writing on the backs. He sure glued the photos down good and tight.

There's a colt, a collie, and even a fox. My mother might have been pleased about the collie as she loved collies. I don't recall her ever saying that her father had one, though. My parents raised collies for a few years when my sister and I were children. 

This is my true great-grandmother (I think), not the mystery woman in the kitchen. I think so because this is the same man I believe to be my great-grandfather. He is holding a daughter and the way the woman standing has her arm draped casually over his shoulder makes me think that they are a pair. I am interested in the wallpaper...a clock motif, I believe. 

Oddly enough, the old Sessions clock I have is theirs. I know this because my grandfather took all the furnishings from his mother's home to the camp. The clock lived there for many years until it was given to me.

I would have been thrilled to see it in their parlor!

Here is the mystery woman again. No, she could not be the same woman seen above. Perhaps she is an aunt or a friend. I may never know. Her entire kitchen wall, cupboards, and ceiling are all done in beadboard. Everything looks in need of paint. There is some sort of lace or shelf paper on every shelf in her cupboards and on the wall above her sink. I notice a receipt (recipe) on a nail by the door and a calendar on the door. How I have tried to make it out! I should make a detailed list and thereby get to know this early 20th Century Kitchen better. 

Wonder if she could have made a meal to make Mr. Carson happy. Doubtful!

On the left, my great-grandmother whom I can see that my mother favors now that I am taking a closer look. On the right, the mystery woman in the kitchen. I do not believe that they are one and the same.